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  1. Decavanadate (V 10 O 28 6− or V10) is a paradigmatic member of the polyoxidometalate (POM) family, which has been attracting much attention within both materials/inorganic and biomedical communities due to its unique structural and electrochemical properties. In this work we explored the utility of high-resolution electrospray ionization (ESI) mass spectrometry (MS) and ion exclusion chromatography LC/MS for structural analysis of V10 species in aqueous solutions. While ESI generates abundant molecular ions representing the intact V10 species, their isotopic distributions show significant deviations from the theoretical ones. A combination of high-resolution MS measurements and hydrogen/deuterium exchange allows these deviations to be investigated and interpreted as a result of partial reduction of V10. While the redox processes are known to occur in the ESI interface and influence the oxidation state of redox-active analytes, the LC/MS measurements using ion exclusion chromatography provide unequivocal evidence that the mixed-valence V10 species exist in solution, as extracted ion chromatograms representing V10 molecular ions at different oxidation states exhibit distinct elution profiles. The spontaneous reduction of V10 in solution is seen even in the presence of hydrogen peroxide and has not been previously observed. The susceptibility to reduction of V10 is likely to be shared bymore »other redox active POMs. In addition to the molecular V10 ions, a high-abundance ionic signal for a V 10 O 26 2− anion was displayed in the negative-ion ESI mass spectra. None of the V 10 O 26 cations were detected in ESI MS, and only a low-abundance signal was observed for V 10 O 26 anions with a single negative charge, indicating that the presence of abundant V 10 O 26 2− anions in ESI MS reflects gas-phase instability of V 10 O 28 anions carrying two charges. The gas-phase origin of the V 10 O 26 2− anion was confirmed in tandem MS measurements, where mild collisional activation was applied to V10 molecular ions with an even number of hydrogen atoms (H 4 V 10 O 28 2− ), resulting in a facile loss of H 2 O molecules and giving rise to V 10 O 26 2− as the lowest-mass fragment ion. Water loss was also observed for V 10 O 28 anions carrying an odd number of hydrogen atoms ( e.g. , H 5 V 10 O 28 − ), followed by a less efficient and incomplete removal of an OH˙ radical, giving rise to both HV 10 O 26 − and V 10 O 25 − fragment ions. Importantly, at least one hydrogen atom was required for ion fragmentation in the gas phase, as no further dissociation was observed for any hydrogen-free V10 ionic species. The presented workflow allows a distinction to be readily made between the spectral features revealing the presence of non-canonical POM species in the bulk solution from those that arise due to physical and chemical processes occurring in the ESI interface and/or the gas phase.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 29, 2023
  2. Menaquinones are lipoquinones that consist of a headgroup (naphthoquinone, menadione) and an isoprenyl sidechain. They function as electron transporters in prokaryotes such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. For these studies, we used Langmuir monolayers and microemulsions to investigate how the menaquinone headgroup (menadione) and the menahydroquinone headgroup (menadiol) interact with model membrane interfaces to determine if differences are observed in the location of these headgroups in a membrane. It has been suggested that the differences in the locations are mainly caused by the isoprenyl sidechain rather than the headgroup quinone-to-quinol reduction during electron transport. This study presents evidence that suggests the influence of the headgroup drives the movement of the oxidized quinone and the reduced hydroquinone to different locations within the interface. Utilizing the model membranes of microemulsions and Langmuir monolayers, it is determined whether or not there is a difference in the location of menadione and menadiol within the interface. Based on our findings, we conclude that the menadione and menadiol may reside in different locations within model membranes. It follows that if menaquinone moves within the cell membrane upon menaquinol formation, it is due at least in part, to the differences in the properties of headgroup interactions with the membranemore »in addition to the isoprenyl sidechain.« less